With the onset of 2014, it has many of us guessing: What will the office of the future look like? Maybe the modern office will have holographic conference calls, floating desk chairs, or a robotic secretary. Or even better, an automatic coffee dispenser at every desk.
That prediction may be a bit far-fetched, but companies are already upgrading from stuffy, cubical-filled workspaces to modern designs that would make anyone want to go to work. Here are a few solid trends seen throughout the past year that show no sign of slowing down:
The cubicle has officially become an office item of the past. Instead, companies are shifting toward better mobility and flexibility in the workplace. Some modern offices even go so far as to remove traditional equipment altogether and replace it with sofas and tables to create a “lounge” office.
Instead of assigned work areas, employers are encouraging unassigned seating for better movement. Now employees can come to work and sit (or stand) wherever they like and plug in their laptop. Unsurprisingly, with the health-craze in full force, a standing workstation is becoming a staple of the modern office. They provide the flexibility employees need, to keep ideas moving and flowing throughout the day.
Moving along with greater mobility, the office of the future promotes an open environment. Now office spaces are designed in an exposed plan that lets employees bump into each other to discuss ideas.
Some companies incorporate gathering places, for informal meetings or an escape from the daily grind. The idea behind an open design is to create more communication and engagement between employees, departments and upper management, for a more productive office overall.
We can’t help but reiterate the gaining popularity of standing desks. Adjustable desks go hand in hand with greater mobility and an open office. A standing conference table is just one option that fulfills all the qualities of open communication, with a relaxed, standup meeting.
Of course, there’s enticing technology that’s sure to become a necessity in every modern office. Since most companies have switched to a paperless system, why not eliminate whiteboards too? An electronic whiteboard is completely digital (and you’ll never experience dry erase marker on your hands again).
The new workforce has placed importance on bettering the environment. Companies have responded by “going green,” with small steps like completely paperless systems or taking it all the way with a self-sustaining building. The office of the future promotes green practices and uses equipment and materials that reduce energy and impact on the environment.
There are sure to be even more modern office trends later in 2014, and we’re excited to see what happens next. Do you work in an office that follows any of these trends? If not, how do you want to see your office change in 2014?